It’s been all quiet on the basketball front for a few days. The conference semifinals ended with four lopsided series, and the conference finals are yet to begin.
But that won’t stop Kobe Bryant from making his own headlines. The future Hall of Famer, who retired from the NBA in 2016, still very much has the competitive juices flowing, as evidenced by his latest “like” on Twitter:
That’s Kobe Bryant — THE Kobe Bryant — liking a tweet from Big Hube (@hubertfenelon25) that says:
If you were a baller, you’d know that kobe is more skilled than Lebron..
Who is Big Hube?
That Big Hube somehow got Bryant’s attention is pretty impressive. He doesn’t have any ties to Kobe — other than his fandom — and he had just 17 followers as of the tweet. Nearly all of his tweets are about either music or basketball. His tweet just happened to be in a long reply chain from a Bryant tweet promoting his show “Detail.”
@KingJames In the next episode of Detail, I take a look at Cavs/Celtics regular season games before they head into the Eastern Conference Finals. Watch it now on ESPN+ @cavs @celtics @espn #Detail pic.twitter.com/sggXe6CIB4
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 12, 2018
These arguments happen all the time, and Bryant is tagged or tweeted at hundreds if not thousands of times per day. He has 14 million followers, after all. How he picked out this seemingly random user and went ahead and liked the tweet is really surprising — Bryant has only liked 59 tweets, none of which are about this debate, since joining Twitter back in January, 2013 — and random.
Is Kobe more skilled than LeBron?
Of course, it’s important to note that the tweet says Bryant is “more skilled” than James is. Whether or not that implies he is better than LeBron, of course, is up for debate. People have spent — and will spend — hours arguing that because Bryant wasn’t 6’8″ and 250 pounds (as the Cavaliers’ official roster reports James is), he had to rely more on skill. Of course, others will counter back that diminishing James’ skill set simply because of his incredible build is unfair, and that there are dozens of other outstanding athletes in the league today that will never come close to accomplishing what James has done.
Bryant won five rings, two scoring titles, an MVP and two Finals MVPs over the course of his illustrious career. He was an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection and a 12-time All-NBA Defensive Team selection.
James, meanwhile, has captured three championships, a scoring title, four MVPs and three Finals MVPs. He’s a 14-time All-Star, a 13-time All-NBA selection and a six-time All-NBA Defensive Team selection. Perhaps more impressive than any of those numbers, though, is his longevity: In his 15th year in the league, James played all 82 regular-season games for the first time in his career and led the league in minutes per game for the second straight season. He’s having one of his best playoffs ever and is arguably the reason the best team in his conference just fired its coach.
Of course, some of these numbers mean very little in the grand scheme of things. People will argue against James’ 3-5 record in the NBA Finals, for example. Others might argue back about Bryant’s supposedly superior supporting cast — he had Shaquille O’Neal in his prime for three championships. The arguments are endless.
Could this be another motivating factor for James?
Though James abandons all social media during the playoffs, he’ll likely get wind of Bryant’s online actions. The “like,” coincidentally, comes on the same day that Celtics forward Marcus Morris said that he’s the second-best James defender in the league.
James and the Cavaliers get going against the Celtics in Boston on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET.